Dan Millman is one of my all-time favorite teachers.
I’m pretty sure that The Way of the Peaceful Warrior was the second self-development book I ever read. (Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was the first.)
The sub-title to Dan’s book perfectly captures its power: “A Book That Changes Lives.”
It definitely changed mine.
I can still remember reading it when I was a 25-year-old Founder/CEO of my first business, eteamz. Now that I think about it… Technically, at that stage, I was the Founder/President of our business as I had recently hired the retiring CEO of adidas to replace me as the CEO of our tiny little startup. He joined us right when the 1999 dot-com bubble popped.
As we’ve discussed (most recently in this +1 called Champions Finish Strong), I earned some gray whiskers whose growth were supported by his mentorship during those challenging times.
THAT is when I was introduced to Dan Millman and his brilliant wisdom via his amazing semi-autobiographical fable.
Today I want to chat about a super simple yet super powerful idea from our Notes on another one of his great books called Everyday Enlightenment.
We actually talked about it WAY back in the day in +1 #624, but I was thinking about it and another related idea this morning as I was DOMINATING the dishes.
I want to revisit the idea because it’s such a simple, yet powerful (!) way to build our emotional stamina/forge antifragile confidence and move from Theory to Practice to Mastery as we make our highs higher AND our lows higher.
Here’s the basic idea…
If you feel even a little bit off (and DEFINITELY if you’re feeling A LOT OFF!), we want to find ways to help you get your agency back while Focusing your attention on WHAT’S IMPORTANT NOW (!) rather than ruminating about all the little/big things that might not be where you want them to be in your life.
And, one of the EASIEST ways to do that is to, as Stuart Wilde says in Infinite Self, DOMINATE YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
One of (if not THE!) easiest ways to do that is to DOMINATE YOUR DISHES!!
(And/or do a quick (/thorough) cleaning of your house!)
Here’s how Stuart Wilde puts it: “Messy surroundings and an untidy life reflect a weakened metaphysical and psychological state. If you are powerful, you will dominate your life, you will find time to clean up and order things, and you will want to do that as a part of your personal discipline. Mess is the external manifestation of the ego’s disquiet and laziness.”
Here’s how Dan Millman puts it: “Of course, we don’t love painful feelings like anxiety or depression. We don’t have to love or even like them, but we do have to accept them, as difficult as that can seem at times. Emotions, no matter how painful they are, are not the problem. The problem is dropping out of school or work, putting your family or duties of life on hold until such time as you can work out your emotional issues. Would you rather feel depressed while sitting alone in your room trying to figure it all out or feel depressed while getting your house cleaned or your project completed? (You may still feel depressed, but you have a cleaner house.)”
That’s Today’s +1.
Let’s make a habit out of dominating our environment—starting with our dishes.
In the process, let’s reclaim all those lost moments for Mastery that George Leonard talks about.
And, if you feel so inspired, create some Heroic Love Targets like I have:
Do Dishes As Act of Love 🎯
Do Laundry As Act of Love 🎯
Clean House As Act of Love 🎯
I repeat: It’s REALLY (!) hard to have a REALLY bad day when we dominate the most basic fundamentals—ESPECIALLY when we don’t feel like it.
I repeat: Don’t believe me? Go hit 101 Heroic Targets in the app for 10 days and let me know how you feel. 😉
If you don’t feel like you’re becoming ANTIFRAGILE let me know and I’ll send you a personal “I’m sorry!” voice memo. 🤓
If you DO run the experiment (goosebumps) and YOU DO feel a surge in your Soul Force, let us know and I’ll send you a voice memo high-five. 🙌
When shall we do all this?